|Sent on:||Monday, January 2, 2012 9:32 AM|
Happy New Year to all members of WoW ~ Wine on Wednesday!
Since I am enjoying (hah! Broken Knee…) an enforced time away from my job, I decided to put together an end of the year report for WoW ~ Wine on Wednesday. Grab yourself a glass of wine and settle in for a look at what we did last year and where we’re headed this year. As always, suggestions for events are welcomed!
Kathy DiPietro, CSW
Certified Specialist of Wine
Society of Wine Educators
WoW Wine Services
21 tasting events were scheduled, but only 20 were held – due to the February snowstorm we cancelled the Muscat event. It will (perhaps) amuse you to know that we opened 200+ bottles of wine at our events during 2011!! Probably closer to 225 – since more often than not some members brought more than one bottle with them to our tastings.
RENEWAL & RETOOLING:
At our 3-Year Anniversary celebration last June, we enjoyed a toast to the group and copious amounts of great appetizers. Later at dinner we awarded several large-format bottles to members for attending the most events, and for bringing the most new members over our three-year history. We also talked about the group and how it has changed through the years and about the time demands of having a single organizer.
Subsequent to that evening we held a meeting to discuss the future of WoW and decided to change things up a bit: We took on two co-organizers, Jenny Henke and Kim Papa, who will help to shoulder the responsibilities of organizing the group’s activities. We also decided to encourage other members to organize one event each year and take a bigger part of the planning of the group’s calendar. As a result of that decision, three members held events at other venues - preparing and teaching a lesson to other members and as a result, increased their own wine education. Teaching is learning!
I would encourage every member to break out of their comfort zone and contact an organizer (Jenny, Kim, Kathy )about putting a date on the calendar for a wine event that they will organize and teach to the membership at large – reserve your date now and let the planning begin!
We have two events on the WoW calendar so far: January 11th: Winner Take All and November, 15th, our 3rd Annual Beaujolais Dinner. So, as you can see, the year is wide open and there are SO many different aspects of wine that you could explore… I have committed to doing some teaching lessons this year and will not have time to plan monthly events for WoW – in order for us to have events the membership at large needs to plan and organize tastings – they can be as serious or a fun and whimsical as you choose them to be.
Event and Tasting Suggestions:
· Field Trip to a local winery or vineyard – there are several in the Dallas Metro area. (many will let you assist: prune, harvest, stomp, etc.)
· Wine Dinner at a restaurant – many venues have them already scheduled, just google it!
· Field Trip to a local wine bar and everyone order different flights with cheese pairings.
· Goldilocks Tasting – try the same wines at three different temperatures (too hot, too cold, just right)
· Glassware Tasting – try the same wines in several different types of containers (plastic, jelly glass, bar/restaurant stem, light stem, varietal stem, etc.
· Pairing Tasting – order different dishes for the table, try each wine with each dish and vote on the best pairings – discuss why it worked and didn’t.
· Regional Tasting – pick an area that you wish to know more about, ask everyone to bring a wine from that specific AVA, DO, DOC, AOC, etc.
· Muscat Tasting – after all, we never did that one last year.
· Dessert Pairing Tasting – order different desserts for the table, try each dessert wine with each dish and vote on the best pairing – discuss why it worked and didn’t
· Vertical Tasting – pour wines from the same winery but different vintages (i.e., Clos du Bois Merlot vintage 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) discuss the difference between vintages and read the tasting notes on the weather, the harvest, the technique, etc.)
· Horizontal Tasting – pour wines from the same year and region, but different producers (i.e., Napa Valley Cabernet 2008) discuss the differences between producers and read the tasting notes from the different winemakers.
· Mars vs Venus Tasting – pour wines blind and see if you can tell whether the wine was crafted by a male or female winemaker – discuss if there is a difference in style between men and women who make wine.
· Cold vs Warm Climate Tasting – try a varietal from a cool growing region and from a warm growing region – discuss the differences and learn what you prefer.
· And so on, and so on, and so on, and so on……
MEMBERSHIP and FINANCES:
Today is the second day of our new membership year, which means one thing… DUES are payable at the first event attended of the new year – which is Wednesday, January 11, 2012: WINNER TAKE ALL to be held at Giovanni’s at 7pm. Dues may be paid online using Amazon or PayPal via our meetup page, or in person via cash or check at an event.
Just to recap for new members, we have the following membership designations:
FULL MEMBER: a dues-paying member of the group who is current on their annual dues. Full members who do not attend an event in a three month period will still be considered members until such time as their annual dues/membership expire at the end of the calendar year – December 31st. If at the end of the calendar year the Full Member has not attended in three or more months, they must reapply for membership.
PROVISIONAL MEMBER: a person who has been approved for membership in WoW ~ Wine on Wednesday but who has either: A) never attended an event (you will be rolled off automatically after 3 months of “membership” and non-attendance; B) attended one “free-look” event but never paid membership dues (you will be rolled off automatically after 3 months of non-payment and non-attendance).
Q: What do my dues pay for?
A: Your membership dues pay for the meetup.com website ($144 p/year); supplies; a Big Ass Glass (tasting glass) for all new dues-paying members; and contribute to our Anniversary celebration. (Held last year at CRU` Watters Creek with no charge to members for appetizers and two glasses of sparkling wine.)
Q: What if there are more dues collected than expenses?
A: Hahahaha! This has never happened in 3+ years of WoW :^)
Q: What sort of budget does WoW have to work with?
A: Please view the chart below for all monies taken in and paid out in the last three and a half years of WoW.
Below are some interesting “stats” for our membership:
Full (dues-paying) Members in 2011: 20 (some of these were pro-rated at $5 not the full $30)
Of the 20 who paid dues last year, I anticipate that 7 will not be renewing membership; leaving us with (current members) of 13 who have previously paid dues and will most likely renew membership in January 2012 = $390.
*There are 8 Provisional Members who have not ever attended an event and most likely will roll off automatically.
*There are 2 Provisional Members who have attended but not yet chosen to become Full (dues-paying) Members.
*One Provisional Member paid her dues in December for the 2012 year – Yay! Thank you in advance!
*There are 7 people who have applied for membership in the last two months and are “pending members.” If any current member knows them and would like to have them join, please let us know. (Maria Meleca, Tod H, Edie Tuazon, Amber Jones, Sharon, Belicza Laslow, Kevin Cravens)
*I would also tell you that the best advertisement for building membership is word of mouth – so if you have friends who would like to join, please invite them to a tasting event.
I anticipate that we will have income of $390 (13 membership renewals), expenses of $144 for the website – leaving us $245 for supplies and our Anniversary celebration (last year that expense was $370).
For the group not to become stagnant – we probably need to have an ACTIVE membership of 20 dues-paying members, that way if we get 50% attendance we still have 10 people – enough for a decent turnout at each event.
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